When I started looking for a home as a newlywed in 1990, my British husband was traveling for work in Europe. He said, “Dahling, just find something as close to a thatched cottage as possible.” Little did he suspect that in bright, shiny new-build Dallas, I’d do just that. I found a charming little bungalow that was just perfect for building my nest, lodging my revolving door of rescue pups, and eventually raising my son.
I also found a lot more in this eclectic East Dallas Conservation District.
I found great neighbors, and the sort of unity I’ve only experienced growing up on military bases around the world. When we lost power recently, my next-door neighbors, who are on a different grid, let us run an extension cord from their home so we could get on the internet. A few years ago, when our internet went out, my other next door neighbor gave me her password so I could continue writing.
When I moved into Hollywood Heights, one neighbor was approaching 90. She was the original homeowner of the first spec home in the neighborhood. Most of my neighbors were well past retirement age. They looked out for us young’uns, and now 29 years later, my generation is doing the same for the incoming batch of newbies.
It’s not just looking out for one another that makes Hollywood Heights a great neighborhood. If you want fun, we have a lot of it. Our Easter Parade is legendary. It was the brainchild of Newellian (if you live on Newell that’s what you’re called) Liz Simmons. It’s a community effort that results in some of the craziest grown-up Easter bunnies you’ve ever seen, impressively creative floats, great music, excellent food, and yes, even adult beverages.
Following close on the heels of the Easter festivities are Halloween and Christmas events. Simmons started trends for these holidays as well. Halloween is next level fun. There are plenty of graves, loads of candy, and very often a boa constrictor plays a prominent role. During the Christmas season Santa is on hand for photos, assisted by beautiful elves, and Simmons creates a wonderland Tim Burton would envy. Her holiday light display has garnered national attention. People descend from all over Dallas to take photos in front of her handiwork.
Hollywood Heights has block parties, wine nights, and breakfast in the park to name only a few of the activities. Neighbors constantly come up with new ideas that are embraced with open arms. Of course, if you read CandysDirt.com, you know all about the famous Hollywood Heights Home Tour. We just finished up the 28th year of being one of the most successful tours in the Metroplex.
Historic Architectural Treasure
This neighborhood has one of the largest collections of stone-embellished Tudor cottages in America. Not only are there gorgeous Tudor homes, but we also have Spanish and French Eclectic, Minimal Traditional, Craftsman, Monterrey, and two rare Pueblo-style homes. J.B. Salmon was the gentleman that turned a former dairy farm into what is officially known as the Hollywood Santa Monica neighborhood. He allowed the diverse architectural styles, as long as other builders and architects stuck to the deed restrictions. I think he’d be pleased to see how his little development turned out.
The success of any neighborhood is a team effort. Forever friends are made, and memories are created that sustain you for life. I asked my son Rowan, now grown and off to Boston for his Master’s degree, what he thought about growing up in Hollywood Heights.
“There is a real sense of community here,” he said. “Lindsley park is a wonderful cornerstone for any young child growing up in the neighborhood. It’s safe, calm, and everyone looks after each other. It’s just a really comforting, sweet neighborhood.”